We live in the Information Age. We love to say phrases like, “knowledge is power” and “truth is relative.” Interestingly, these two quotes combined create some scary scenarios, but that is another blog topic.
The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun, and this is true in regards to the fad of pursing knowledge as an end. During the age of Jesus, the Greeks loved their knowledge. They were constantly looking for a new philosophy to discuss. Intellectualism was how they defined themselves. Likewise in the 17th and 18th century we had what is called the “Age of Enlightenment.” At this time, people pursued reason and individualism above all things.
These two groups of people have something in common, they are all dead. No matter how much earthly knowledge they obtained, they all had the same destiny…death. In this moment they are one of two places, with God in Heaven or separated from God in Hell, and they will remain in one of these two places for eternity. This means that in a billion years they will not be any closer to the end of their stay then when they first arrived.
Think about this for a second, of those who are in Hell, they are in Hell because they did not place their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Instead of pursuing the knowledge of God and their need for a Savior, they pursued earthly knowledge. If you were to ask them today whether this was a wise choice, what do you think they would say? I am guessing that they would see themselves as fools, for they exchanged the glory of God for the glory of man. To say it another way, they sold their soul to gain the world.
Throughout the Bible we are told to fear God. Many people today attempt to soften this statement. I believe that when we do this we are manipulating God’s Word. For fearing God really means to be afraid of Him. Listen to what Jesus says in Luke 12:5
- “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” – Luke 12:5
Why are we to fear God? Because God is the Sovereign King over all things, and therefore has authority to send you to Hell. He has the authority to allow you in His presence, or to banish you from His courts. This authority is unrestrained, and this authority determines our eternal destiny. A lot of people want to say that the fear we see in the Bible is more about reverence, then it is about being afraid of God. I think we are kidding ourselves. The fear I see is a fear that makes me want to cry out for mercy. The fear I see is the fear that makes me cry out for a Savior. Understanding this truth changes everything.
This is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; for once you recognize this eternal truth of God’s authority, other knowledge takes its proper place in your life. Earthly knowledge becomes secondary to the greatest knowledge of knowing God and His Son. Earthly knowledge is no longer an end within itself, but is a means to point people to the greater truth that God is Sovereign, we are sinners, and we need Jesus.